Quite a while after issue #1, which came out in November of last year, this issue provides a quick recap inside the front cover to remind mere mortals what transpired in the previous issue. Personally, my recollection of “Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson” #1 was a little fuzzy. Throw that in with the “Pulp Fiction”-wannabe pacing that pops forward and backward in time and this book almost lost me.
I kept with it, figuring I’d give it another read afterwards, if I got too confused. David Lawrence’s writing sorted itself out by the end of this issue and I was back on track. That said, there are some areas where the story was kind of flat, like the end of the issue. In some other parts, the writing was inconsistent — like Stefan’s sudden accent at Uncle Mike’s tavern when he receives his beverage — and occasional disconnected from the art, such as when Mercy references the dog collar on the lycan who isn’t wearing a collar.
The art continues to impress the heck out of me. It ranges from sketchy collages to standard-fare comic art to atmospheric painterly compositions yearning for attention beyond the passing glance most comic book panels elicit. I would love to see the entire process Francis Tsai utilizes in composing these pages. Not only does he render the imagery well, there is a cinematic feel to the camera angles, as though some of the panels are frames lifted from the soon-to-be-summer-blockbuster “Mercy Thompson.”
“Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson” may not be the catchiest title on the comic racks nowadays and, coupled with the deceiving coy model-pose covers, I surmise that this book isn’t quite hitting the wide audience who enjoy movies such as the “Underworld” series, even though this book has many of the same facets. This book certainly would fill the void any “Underworld” fan may be experiencing on their trip to the comic shop.
I did not get around to checking out the novels in the interim since last issue, but I was looking forward to this issue for a few months now and snatched it off the rack the second I saw it. For a book that I knew absolutely nothing about six months ago, this license strikes me as a hit waiting to happen. Originally intended for a target audience, I have no doubt a broader range of comic reader will appreciate this book.